HMS Belfast (1939) CC  (1st)

This the only ship to carry the name HMS Belfast was a Cruiser.

Built by Harland & Wolff of Belfast, laid down 10-Dec-1936, launched 17-Mar-1938, and commissioned 03-Aug-1939.

On completion joined the 18th Cruiser Squadron with the Home Fleet. But on 21-Nov-1939 struck a mine which had been laid in the Firth of Forth by U-21. This broke her back and caused substantial damage. She reached Rosyth where temporary repairs were made, then she went to Portsmouth for full repair. This lasted until 08-Dec-1942.

She rejoined the Home Fleet and began Arctic convoy escort work. Took part in the Battle of North Cape 26-Dec-1943 when the German ship Scharnhorst was sunk. 

In Apr-1944 refitted for work as a Headquarters ship for the Eastern Task Force for the Normandy Landings. She remained doing this until Jul-1944.

After this she went for a major refit to prepare her for duty with the Pacific Fleet, but the work was not completed until May-1945. When she left for the Pacific, arriving at Sydney in Aug-1945.

When the WW2 ended she remained in the Far East and saw action during the Korean War until 1952 when she returned home and went into reserve.

Another refit lasted from 1955 to 12-May-1959, and she went to the Far east again until 1962. Returned home to serve as Flagship of the Home Flotillas.

Paid off Feb-1963 and converted to a Museum Ship, moored on the Thames near the Tower of London since 1971.

Won the Battle Honours: Arctic 1943, North Cape 1943, Normandy 1944 and Korea 1950-52.


- Edinburgh Class (1939) CC
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w. m.
This page last edited - 22 April, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.